Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: 5 People Dead in Wake of Strong Weather System

EDM Monday Briefing: 5 People Dead in Wake of Strong Weather System


Emergency and disaster management briefing for Feb. 26, 2018: A strong storm system over the weekend turned deadly as tornadoes killed at least 2 people, flooding across Kentucky and Ohio is being blamed for the deaths of at least 3 as rising floodwaters inundated homes and trapped drivers, a house explosion kills a young girl and prompts evacuations in Dallas, an explosion at an Orlando school is being investigated as arson, two people were seriously injured during a stagecoach crash in Arizona, an airline passenger's carry-on smart bag erupted in fire and prompted an evacuation of the airplane, health officials in New York issue a warning about a tourist visiting the city who had the measles, and new pet food recalls have been issued for the possible presence of listeria and salmonella.

  1. A strong and deadly storm system that extended from Texas to the Great Lakes over the weekend spawned an EF-2 tornado just east of Clarksville, Tennessee, packing winds of up to 120 mph. The tornado ripped through several neighborhoods in Tennessee, moving one house completely off its foundation while the occupants took cover in the basement. At least two people are suspected to have died from a total of at least four tornadoes that swept through several other states, including Arkansas and Kentucky. 
  2. The strong storm system over the weekend was also responsible for the deaths of at least three people who drown in rising floodwaters in Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio. The storm dumped an additional 2-3 inches of rain on already saturated ground in southwest Ohio, overflowing major rivers, flooding Cincinnati and surrounding areas and forcing people to flee from their homes. First responders were inundated throughout the region with calls to rescue drivers trapped in their vehicles in rising floodwaters, and from residents trapped inside their homes. 
  3. A natural gas explosion ripped through a home in Dallas, Texas early Friday morning, killing a twelve-year-old girl and injuring at least four others inside the home at the time of the incident. The explosion is the latest in a string of what may be related incidents in the same neighborhood block, including a kitchen fire that injured at least two people on Wednesday. Neighbors reporting that an ongoing gas leak has been occurring for days, coupled with the recent explosion, prompted authorities to evacuate an apartment complex in the same area on Sunday.
  4. A fourteen-year-old boy has been detained on arson charges after an explosion and subsequent fire occurred Saturday morning in the boy's bathroom at the Timber Creek High School in Orlando, Florida. The school was hosting a debate team competition when people inside the school heard an explosion and saw smoke, which prompted an evacuation of students to a nearby field. Several law enforcement agencies responded to the incident including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who conducted a sweep of the building to ensure the facility was safe following the incident.
  5. Two people were seriously injured in a stagecoach accident in Apache Junction, Arizona. The incident occurred at the Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo when a horse drawn stagecoach struck several vehicles, but authorities are unsure of what caused the incident. The horses were taken to be evaluated by their owners and the two people hurt, who reportedly suffered head injuries, were transported by ambulance to a local area hospital
  6. Passengers onboard a China Southern airplane at the Guangzhou Baiyun airport in the Guangdong Province in China on Sunday were quickly evacuated when a carry-on bag in the overhead compartment caught fire. The airplane was scheduled to depart for Shanghai when fire erupted during the boarding process, sending smoke pouring into the cabin. Officials believe the fire may have been caused by a lithium-ion battery in a passenger's carry-on smart bag.  
  7. Health officials in New York are warning residents of New York City that a tourist from Australia who visited the city from February 16 to February 21, was confirmed to have the measles. The infected tourist visited such places as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, frequented numerous hotels, and likely traversed the city using cabs and/or the subway during that same time period. New York Health Department officials warn that the virus remains viable airborne for up to two hours and non-immunized individuals and other at-risk persons should be aware of the possible onset of symptoms 10 to 12 days after exposure.  
  8. More pet food recalls have been issued by pet food companies, this time due to the possible contamination of dog food and treats by listeria monocytogenes and salmonella. The Food and Drug Administration sent out notices on Friday about voluntary recalls for contaminated pet foods being issued by TruPet, LLC of Milford, Ohio, and Northwest Naturals of Portland, Oregon. Northwest Naturals is recalling its raw diet for dogs food chubs due to the possible presence of listeria monocytogenes, while TruPet is recalling its Treat Me Crunchy Beef Delight dog treats for possible salmonella contamination.  

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.